How To: Get The Most Out Of Your Candle And Prevent Tunnelling – Callan Candles

How To: Get The Most Out Of Your Candle And Prevent Tunnelling

how to

What is tunnelling?

Tunnelling is where the wick seems to bury itself down into the wax and makes a small vertical tunnel into your candle. Apart from not getting value for your money, because you don’t burn as much of the wax, you do not get as much burn time.

Tunnelling can also cause you to not be able to use your candle at all! If you have managed to create quite a deep tunnel, when you try and light the wick, it may not be able to get enough oxygen to stay lit, rendering your candle useless. 

What causes tunnelling?

There are a couple of reasons for why this happens:

  • Firstly, the wick has not been tested and it's not the correct wick for the size of the jar. To make sure you get the most for your money, our candles go through rigorous testing before they go up on our website.
  • Secondly, you’re not burning your candle properly.

“Wait,” I hear you say, “there’s a wrong way to burn a candle?” Yes! If you want to prevent tunnelling and to maximise burn time. 

On the first burn of your candle, you should aim to burn it for at least 2-4 hours, ensuring that the top layer has melted evenly. If you are unable to do this, your candle is pretty much doomed to tunnel.

an evenly burnt candle

 This is because wax has a ‘memory’. Even though cold wax appears to be hard, cold wax that you melted and cooled yesterday will be softer than wax you melted a couple of weeks ago.

If you don’t let the wax burn evenly on the first burn, when you come to light your candle again, the softer wax (directly blow the wick), will melt first as it needs less thermal energy to do so in comparison to the harder wax. The wax underneath the wick will melt first, meaning the wick buries itself and you begin to create yourself a tunnel!

Okay, but my candle has tunnelled! What should I do?!

Our candles are made from soy wax, which is softer than paraffin. If your candle has tunnelled, why not spoon out some of the wax and use it as a wax melt?

You know how I said your candle was ‘pretty much doomed’, there is  something that can help. Say if you have just lit your candle, and suddenly you need to leave the house due to an emergency and you need to blow you candle out:

- Firstly, we hope you’re okay

- Secondly, try not to light you candle for the next two weeks. Tricky I know, but you need to give the melt wax the best chance possible to fully harden up again.

There are quite a few other techniques out their on the internet, but we find the best way solution to this is to prevent it from happening in the first place! 

Do you have any tips and tricks to fix tunnelling? Why not leave them in the comments? 


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  • Sara Lacey on

    I’ve found a good tip online. I was having problems with certain JM candles and a different brand in hurricane sizes doing it. If you wrap the top of the candle with just a small hall in the centre, leave the candle to burn, after a few hours you will see the tunnelling start to disappear! Be careful when touch the foil though, as becalmed quite hot! Good luck!

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